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    King's Crucible - welcome to the Herd

    King's Crucible - welcome to the Herd

    Photo By Sgt. John Todd | A Soldier assigned to 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. John Todd 

    7th Army Training Command

    King’s Crucible – Welcome to the Herd

    Grafenwohr, GERMANY – If a paratrooper wants to join “the herd”, he/she must make it through the King’s Crucible first.

    The King’s Crucible is a rite-of-passage training exercise for new artillery leaders – commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers, and warrant officers - assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. During the physically and mentally demanding 24-hour challenge new leaders are introduced to artillery skills, reinforce Soldier skills and learn unit history. Though Soldiers throughout the 173rd Airborne Brigade can complete the Crucible to join the herd, this King’s Crucible event was held November 12-13 for new leaders within 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.

    Lt. Col. Mike Tumlin, battalion commander of 4th Bn., 319th AFAR, said this is a team-building event.

    “The King’s Crucible is an event for leaders that have arrived within the last nine months,” said Tumlin. “We focus on basic warrior tasks, reinforce our unit history, and share hardships together, which builds unit cohesion.”

    This year, 28 leaders were welcomed to the herd. To earn this distinction, these Soldiers had to prove their efficiency in a live-fire exercise, six grenade-assault stations, and a dry-fire mission utilizing three 155mm Howitzer cannons. The Soldiers completed a grueling ruck-march, more than 15 miles in length, to each event. The event also usually includes an Airborne jump, but this year’s was cancelled due to weather. Sleep was an expendable luxury during the non-stop training.

    “From the newest member to the most senior paratrooper, we are prepared to deploy, jump in and be surrounded by the enemy at any time, regardless of rank,” said Tumlin. “Basic warrior skills are tremendously important where each team member must be able to operate all weapons systems and deploy munitions within a drop zone.”

    2nd Lt. Karli Ring, fire direction officer for 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery, 4th Bn.,319 AFAR, was one the Soldiers who completed this year’s Crucible.

    “We go though historical events and build espirit de corps by doing physical challenges,” said Ring. “We learn the different parts of artillery, because there is more to it than just the gunner.”

    The new leaders learned the about the proud history of the 173rd Airborne Brigade before the grenade course.
    “This is my first real experience with the military,” said Ring. “Knowing there are people before me that have gone through such tremendous and challenging acts – it means a lot to see that
    that we are following in their footsteps.”

    The term, “King’s Crucible,” comes from the unit’s motto, which is “King of the Herd.”

    “‘King’ refers to the king of battle, which is field artillery, and the ‘herd’ is the 173rd Brigade,” said Tumlin. “Crucible” refers to the pressures, stress and shared hardship that you’ll pass through, making you stronger.”

    “For me, ‘King of the herd’ stands for we are the best at what we do,” said Ring. “We always strive to be the best, we train more than anybody else, we are always training our basic artillery skills and our basic soldering skills to a T.”



    Date Taken: 11.14.2020
    Date Posted: 11.25.2020 11:59
    Story ID: 383767
    Location: GRAFENWOEHR, BY, DE 

    Web Views: 197
    Downloads: 0